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Wednesday, January 23,2013

Eye candy of the week

by Amanda Harrell-Seyburn
Property: 837 Cawood St., Lansing

Owner: Ingham County Land Bank

Listing price: $96,000

Last week, we visited this northwest Lansing neighborhood to feature a tax-foreclosed eyesore that’s slated for demolition. Here now is its next-door neighbor: Architecture, particularly residential infill, is a subtle craft. The best infill designs pay homage to the existing architectural character of the neighborhood with a contemporary edge from materials and detailing. 

Is it new or is it old? 837 Cawood will make you do a double take. One of the latest in a string of new construction projects by the Ingham County Land Bank, this house replaced a demolished home of similar style and size. It is a great example of a residential infill.

Preferable as it may be to save buildings from demolition, the fact is that new construction is necessary — nostalgia aside.

“Projects that are sensitive to context are what we are striving for at the Land Bank,” said Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing, who also chairs the Land Bank. “New construction is important to the vibrancy and health of a community.” 

Communities like Lansing should always be experiencing new development, even in existing neighborhoods. If a community is not evolving, then it is stagnant — and everyone knows what happens to stagnant water. The key is to keep a balance of both old and new structures, and 837 fits the criteria to a T.

According to Shertzing, contextually sensitive infill also helps attract a diversity of residents because some like the context and character of established neighborhoods but want a new house. It’s a subtle craft.

“Eye candy of the Week” is our look at some of the nicer properties in Lansing. It rotates each week with Eyesore of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail eye@lansingcitypulse.com or call Andy Balaskovitz at 999-5064.

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